A few months ago, Lebanon arrested Amer Fakhoury, a former senior officer in the South Lebanese Army, the Israeli-backed force that served as a bulwark against terrorist groups based in that country from 1979 until 2000. Fakhoury was arrested at the behest of Hizballah, which had hoped to exchange him for one of its financiers who is currently in U.S. custody. Thanks to pressure from the Trump administration, and the threat of sanctions from the Senate, Fakhoury was released two weeks ago—without any reciprocation by Washington. Yoni Ben Menachem explains why this matters:
Lebanon’s Release of Amer Fakhoury Is a Small Victory for the U.S.
Israel Has Dodged a Constitutional Crisis, but Only Temporarily
Two weeks ago, then-Speaker of the Knesset Yuli Edelstein refused to hold a vote for his replacement, insisting that, in keeping with precedent, the new speaker should only be chosen after a governing coalition has been formed. As his move prevented the newly installed Israeli parliament from resuming its normal business, the Supreme Court tried to break the impasse with two unprecedented interventions into the legislative branch. To Evelyn Gordon, Edelstein acted out of a “genuine and serious concern” about constitutionally questionable moves by his opponents, even if the court was justified in its order that elections for the new speaker take place.